Louise Richardson has put together a late deal to compete in a G50 in this year's Ginetta GT Supercup. The 18 year old will run in a team alongside her brother Andrew, last year's Ginetta Challenge runner up. TCF caught up with Louise to reflect on last season and see how her preparations are going for the new campaign.
2010 saw her star in the Ginetta Junior Championship, with a superb season seeing her take two wins as she narrowly missed out on the title. The year left her with mixed emotions, as she explains: “I was very disappointed that I didn't win as we had such a strong season, but I was still extremely happy with finishing third. We made some mistakes along the season and came away having learnt a lot which is always important.”
Throughout the season, fans were treated to many great races between Louise and her main rivals Tom Ingram and Jake Hill, battles she relished: “I did really enjoy competing against them. It makes the season so much more interesting and challenging if you have competitors who are a similar standard and it means you really have to work for the results and when they come, they're deserved a lot more.”
Once the season was over, attentions turned to the season ahead and Grantham-based Richardson decided to stay in the Ginetta family: “The Supercup has always been an option for us since last year, but we did also look into alternative series. I've had a test day in a single seater over the winter as well but Supercup always seemed the more realistic option for us. Ginetta create such fantastic packages that it's the best place for us to be this year.”
Once the decision was made to join the Supercup, Louise began working hard to prepare for the new season, but admits things haven't gone smoothly: “Our preparations are very last minute for this year – we've only just got a car and the season starts this weekend! We haven't been able to find a budget for the season so we're running on a shoe string budget.
“We're set to start the season but we're not sure if we're going to be able to finish it yet. We've got a few more things to get in place over the first few rounds and then we're just seeing how far we can go through the season.
“My dad will be running me and my brother, with a group of mechanics to help us out. We're just using our stand up awning and van so we've cut the costs down a lot by not running with our team, but hopefully we'll still be up the front challenging.”
Despite the late preparations, she has managed to get some limited testing in during the winter break: “We've only done about 2 full days testing in a G50 over the winter and will be fitting one more in before the season starts which will be my first time out in my own car. However, all the test days have gone extremely well with our lap times being pretty close to the pace.”
After running the Ginetta G40 Junior model last year, the testing has been vital for her as she adapts to the more powerful G50: “It's a lot different to the G40. The obvious difference is the use of slick tyres on the G50 whereas the G40 used road tyres. The small use of aero makes a lot of difference as well but the G50 is so easy to drive that it's been quick to pick up.”
Despite the troubles getting budget together and the subsequent lack of testing, Louise will be out at the season opener at Brands Hatch this weekend, looking for a successful start to a season she hopes will end with her winning the G50 championship.